Laws to outlaw religious hatred could lead to a ban on films such as Monty Python's Life of Brian, a Midland MP has warned.
David Winnick (Lab Walsall North) called for the Government's controversial legislation to be amended to ensure "criticism and ridicule" of religion was allowed.
But he backed the proposals in principle, warning that Muslims needed protection following the attacks on London last week.
His comments followed a series of attacks on mosques across the country, including one in Telford, Shropshire.
Mr Winnick said he had protection under the law as someone from a Jewish background, and other groups should have the same rights as Sikhs and Jews.
The MP was speaking in a debate on the Government's Racial and Religious Hatred Bill, which has received its third reading in the Commons but is likely to receive a rough ride in the House of Lords.
He said: "I want the Government to make it clear, even if they cannot do so in the Bill, that if the Bill is passed into law, as I hope it will be, we will not find ourselves in a position in which it will not be possible to criticise religion. I do not want that situation to arise and I hope that Home Office Ministers share my sentiments. Rowan Atkinson has made some valid points.
"I understand his concerns that there might be a danger that the sort of material often used by artists like him could be declared unlawful as a result of the Bill. It is essential that the criticism of religion does not become unlawful in any way. I am reminded of the film Life of Brian.
"I would not want such a film to be prohibited. I want a situation in which other religions - why should it be only the Christian religion? - could be subject to the same sort of criticism and ridicule."
He added: "At a time when some hate-mongers are trying to brand the whole Muslim community responsible for Thursday's atrocities, the law needs to be changed to provide protection."